Wellness: Finding Peace In The Middle Of Times Square

At Visual Therapy, we’re all about Mind, Body, and Soul. As we work with clients to line up their optimal wardrobes and help them to be the best version of themselves, we’re huge believers that it’s not the dress, but what’s in the dress that matters. And even though clothes can help you feel like a movie star, there’s something that needs to be taken care of first on a deeper level. Welcome to “Wellness Wednesdays”: our weekly feature to bring you tips for a healthy, whole and fulfilled life.

 

Yeah, I know, sounds crazy to put “peace” and “Times Square” in one sentence. A New Yorker for four years, I find myself avoiding that crazy tourist-filled place with overpriced hot dogs and street performers that will make you doubt your own sanity. But for one day a year on Summer Solstice, everything changes.

This past Sunday marked the 13th inaugural day of Solstice in Times Square, a day of free yoga that celebrates the beginning of summer and invites all kinds of people to get downward and find their own inner peace. Several large areas of the square get closed off, the best yoga teachers are invited, mats are laid out, and thousands of people do yoga right there, in the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world.

“Deep inhale. Exhale, and turn towards the bus. Big inhale. Exhale, and turn towards Good Morning America.” Those were the kind of urban instructions we were getting during Douglass Stewart’s class, who happened to have a great sense of humor about it (Stewart is a co-founder of Solstice in Times Square). I can’t quite put it into words, but there was something powerful and very reassuring about the whole experience.

I was lucky to not only take class, but also perform on stage–we showed off something called Breakti, a combination of yoga and breakdance (the two actually have a quite a bit in common).

On our way home after the event, we asked the Indian cab driver if he knew that there’s a huge yoga event going on on Times Square. He waved it off, saying “I don’t care. When these big conventions happen, it’s all about making money.”

And while I’m sure there was a lot of money involved, the point is not that. The goal is to hopefully spread the word about yoga far and wide, get people to practice the transformative ancient art together, support the community, bring out some smiles, and maybe–just maybe–help busy New Yorkers find a serene breath amidst the crazy, hectic city living.

Lauren Imparato teaching a class at Summer Solstice Times Square

Photos credits: Ksenia Avdulova, @timessquarenyc.